Promoting British Values at Sacred Heart School
In November 2014, the Department for Education produced the document: Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in school’. Here at Sacred Heart School, we aim to follow this non-statutory guidance which may be found below:
All maintained schools must meet the requirements set out in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. Through ensuring pupils’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values.
Meeting requirements for collective worship, establishing a strong school ethos supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and providing relevant activities beyond the classroom are all ways of ensuring pupils’ SMSC development.
Pupils must be encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance.
It is expected that pupils should understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. The school’s ethos and teaching, which schools should make parents aware of, should support the rule of English civil and criminal law and schools should not teach anything that undermines it. If schools teach about religious law, particular care should be taken to explore the relationship between state and religious law. Pupils should be made aware of the difference between the law of the land and religious law.
Fundamental British values
Schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This can help schools to demonstrate how they are meeting the requirements of section 78 of the Education Act 2002, in their provision of SMSC.
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with schools’ duty to provide SMSC. The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.
Through their provision of SMSC, schools should:
- enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- encourage respect for other people; and
- encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
Understanding and Knowledge
The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values.
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
- an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
- an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
It is not necessary for schools or individuals to ‘promote’ teachings, beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own, but nor is it acceptable for schools to promote discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background.
(Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in school: Departmental advice for maintained school. November 2014)
Statement of Intent
At Sacred Heart School, we provide opportunities for our children to explore their own culture and to have a clear understanding and appreciation of a wide range of the cultural influences which have shaped modern Britain.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At Sacred Heart School, these values are reinforced regularly, in the following ways:
- Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through democratic processes such as our Student Council, the Chaplaincy Team, the Sports Council, the Singing Play Leaders and the Road Safety Officers.
- The children themselves devised the current School Rules and values.
- Children visit places such as the Town hall where they lean about voting and democracy, about upholding British Law.
- Through the curriculum, children are taught about fundamental British Values such a democracy e.g. by holding age-appropriate mock elections/debates which cover a variety of ideas.
The Rule of Law:
- The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days.
- There is a clearly structured behaviour system within school and the Behaviour Policy is available on the school website.
- The Going for Gold reward system encourages children to follow the school rules.
- Regular school assemblies cover issues such as behaviour expectations in our school.
- Anti-bullying is specifically promoted during Anti-Bullying Week each November and is then reinforced throughout the year.
- Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules/laws are broken.
- Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service help reinforce this message. Children are taught the particular importance of respect for such services.
- Assemblies cover national and international issues.
- The School Missions Statement and Vision Statement spread our vision.
- Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
- As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education e.g. the Y6 children attend Crucial Crew every year where, among other issues, they learn about ‘Stranger Danger’ and E-safety.
- Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
- Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Pupils have key roles and responsibilities, particularly in Year 6 e.g. Singing Play Leaders, Chaplaincy Team, Eco Team.
- The importance of the freedom to make choices and be an individual is enforced through learning about global issues, where individual liberty cannot be taken for granted.
- School ethos, the RE curriculum and Behaviour Policy revolve around core values such as ‘Respect’. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown.
- Respect for others is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as through our Behaviour Policy.
- Our PSHE curriculum embodies values and mutual respect.
- Our Assistant Learning Mentor works hard with all children, encouraging them to reflect on less acceptable behaviours and how these might impact on others. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions and behaviour.
- There is public acknowledgement of awards and achievements of the children gained from outside school activities. Notices are put on the school newsletter which goes onto the school website.
- School is very active with sports which promote an attitude of fairness and equality.
- The use of older children to work with younger children promotes mutual respect across phases in school e.g. Singing Playground Leaders
- Fundraising occurs throughout the year, often led by the children themselves, promoting an awareness of different life experiences for children around the word e.g. Mission Together, Carmel Care. Through this, the children are able to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.
- RE topics such as ‘Common Good’, ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Stewardship’, specifically teach the children about the need to work together and have respect for each other (and the planet) in a diverse society.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
- This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.
- Through our RE Scheme, Come and See, the children are taught about other faiths on a four year rolling programme: Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam.
- Children are taught about Judaism every year through the Come and See Programme.
- Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
- Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school e.g. a visit from Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail
- Children learn about the issues faced by people of other faiths and beliefs, and learn the importance of questioning and challenging extreme or judgmental viewpoints.
- Should you feel at any time that the school does not act in accordance with the DfE guidance, or that your child has/is vulnerable to the opinions, viewpoints or suggestions of those in or out of school, that may be deemed political, social or religious radicalization, please contact the Head teacher.